20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
On 21 November 2009, President Bamir Topi and the First Lady opened the Presidential Palace to government officials, representatives of many non-governmental organizations, the UN and foreign missions to mingle with hundreds of children and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children huddled around face paint stands, coloring stations and reading corners as part of a greater exhibition of Albania’s children’s rights campaigns, while First Lady Topi spoke to the packed crowd about the need to protect children’s “non-negotiable rights”.
UNICEF Representative Detlef Palm pointed out that "it is good politics to care about vulnerable children", and EC Head of Operations Luigi Brusa recalled that respect of human rights is one of the core values of the European Union. A Roma representative of the Youth Parliament called for an end to the marginalization of vulnerable children. Participants watched local drama groups, a teenage girl rock band playing a song on children's rights, original poetry performance by juvenile offenders from Kavaja prison, Roma musicians, and young environmental activists.